Introducing the Accountless Paywall

Accounts from a business perspective have been the fad for quite a while now. Everyone wants to own customer data. But here’s the catch: very few customers want this and setting up an account takes a while. According to Capterra’s 2022 Online Shopping Survey, 43% of consumers prefer guest checkout. 54% of consumers saying they’d abandon cart if the company asks for too much information. And a staggering 82% would leave if the account registration process is too complicated. On top of all that 75% of respondents use burner emails for online shopping and for Gen Z, it’s 84%. So even if they did sign up for an account would your email reach then?


But how would you implement guest checkout for things like digital video rental, or access to documents, etc? That’s where an accountless paywall comes in. So instead of creating another account, providing all this info and then trying to remember if you have an account or not, you just need to keep track of a ticket. You’d think this would be annoying to keep track of, but our support tickets for lost tickets are lower than lost password/account issues.

Accountless vs Account Breakdown


Sure, you get more detailed demographic data and a more streamlined look into your customers, but at what cost? It’s more than just the amount you lose on conversions, it’s all the extra work protecting people’s data, dealing with extra infrastructure, and of course actually making that data useful, which often gets lost. Sure you get less data, but you still get enough to send email marketing, and with analytics you can still piece together your target audiences, without sacrificing sales. That said, it’s not always better. Here’s a breakdown of situations better suited for different kinds of paywalls.

Accountless vs Account Breakdown


Basically, unless the value for the customer for having and maintaining an account with you is higher than the cost to the user of creating an account, use an accountless paywall. A 20% off coupon may entice some, but you’ll likely end up with those burner emails mentioned above, which means you probably aren’t getting a whole lot off the account. On top of that, Shop+ did an analysis of how Millennials shop and found that 26% of Millennials will give fake birthdays to score better deals, and some give fake birthdays because they don’t want to give out real birthdays. Combine this with the burner emails and you have a recipe for a lot of inaccurate data, which can be more dangerous than no data.


Our recommendation is to figure out how important the account is. Is it critical to using your platform, service, or purchase? If not, accountless is the way to go. Your customers will be happier and so will your wallet. It’s a win-win!


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